The Asian leg in Bangkok, due to start next week with the Thailand Open, received a boost with all 824 participants in the Green Zone quarantine bubble testing negative for COVID-19.
The Green Zone consists of players and their entourage and all stakeholders who come into direct contact with them, such as umpires, line judges, personnel from Badminton World Federation (BWF), Badminton Association of Thailand, medical staff, and TV production crew.
“All international Green Zone participants were required to submit a negative in their own country before departure to Bangkok and were then tested again in Bangkok upon entry into hotel quarantine,” BWF said in a statement.
Local players, staff and personnel based in Thailand were also tested and quarantined as part of the Green Zone bubble. Players are now cleared for training under strict safety protocols. The quarantine measures will be in place throughout the mandatory 14-day observation period including during the staging of the Thailand Open.
“More routine COVID-19 tests will follow with strict safety protocols to remain in place until the end of the Asian Leg, which concludes with the completion of the BWF World Tour Finals on January 31,” the statement added.
On Tuesday, Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal raised concerns over the fitness of the athletes after physios and trainers have been restricted from meeting the badminton players during the entirety of their Thailand tour.
Having undergone coronavirus tests, Saina asked BWF to sort the mess as this will impact the performance of the players on the court.
Nehwal is currently in Bangkok for the Thailand Open, slated to take place from January 12-17. The shuttler took to Twitter and posted a series of tweets, saying that physios and trainers cannot meet them even after all of them have tested negative for coronavirus.